Want to upgrade from Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home to Pro editions or buy an upgrade pack to add Windows Media Center to the operating system? You’d better act fast: Microsoft will be discontinuing Media pack and Pro Pack sales on October 30th, 2015.
Right now you can upgrade from Windows 8.1 Home to Windows 8.1 Pro by paying $100 for a Pro Pack or existing Pro users can add Windows Media Center for $10.
After October 30th you may still be able to do that buy purchasing a feature pack from a third-party retailer. But Microsoft will no longer be selling upgrade packs.
Windows 8.1 Pro has all the features of the Home edition, but also includes extra features including BitLocker encryption, Remote Desktop, and support for joining corporate domains.
Windows Media Center is a utility for browsing and playing music, videos, and photos in a full-screen environment, recording and pausing live TV, and generally turning your PC into a home theater PC.
Microsoft introduced Windows Media Center with a special edition of Windows XP and bundled the software with Windows Vista and Windows 7. When the company launched Windows 8, it didn’t have Media Center. But Microsoft allowed users to add the software for $10.
It’s not included at all in Windows 10 and there’s no way official way to add it (although there is an unofficial method).
Microsoft will continue to support users that have purchased the Pro Pack and Media Pack, but now that the company is discontinuing sales, it might be a good time to check out some alternatives to Windows Media Center.